Tom Mallams: Focus on raising revenue, not
by Tom Mallams, Herald and News letter Apr 22, 2016
I do not consider being a county commissioner a job, I consider
it a privilege to serve the citizens of Klamath County.
When I ran for this position in 2012, I openly committed to be
willing to serve two terms and the citizens have encouraged me
to do so. My ongoing record proves that I have the passion,
courage, integrity and commitment to work tirelessly for the
citizens of Klamath County. Consistently, during my first term,
I have done exactly what I promised to do. This is not exactly
the norm in the world of politics.
I have developed a very positive working relationship in Salem
and in Washington, D.C., across party lines. These relationships
have benefited getting legislation passed in Salem and in
Washington, D.C., that have contributed to helping Klamath
My strategy is to not raise taxes, but instead, raise revenues,
both short and long term. There have been numerous efforts to
pass tax measures to fund public safety and all have failed.
Many of the citizens of Klamath County are on fixed incomes or
are otherwise struggling to make ends meet. We have to be
willing to set a good example and prioritize our spending while
still living within our means. Using road funds to fund sheriff
patrols is very short-sighted.
One of my first direct efforts began in 2013 with the focused
work on the passage of State HB 2140, the Intermediate
Investment Pool Legislation. Once again, with Sen. Doug Whitsett
and Rep. Gail Whitsett ‘s leadership, working across party
lines, we were able to get this Bill passed in both the House
and Senate along with the signature of the governor.
Klamath County has had in excess of $40 million in investments
that have been only receiving an embarrassing, one-half of 1
percent interest revenue, because of state restrictions. This
bill, directed the State Treasurer to implement the Intermediate
Investment Pool, which some initial estimates put the additional
annual interest revenue to Klamath County, somewhere between
$1-$2 million. This additional annual increase in revenues to
Klamath County would certainly assist in closing the funding
The good news is that soon this legislation should be in effect
and Klamath County will be receiving a much needed increase to
our interest revenue. This equates to additional funding without
Another example of my continuous effort was helping gain needed
amendments and passage in the House, of HR 2647, 2015 Timber
Resiliency Bill. Among other things, this bill would drastically
speed up harvesting of burned timber as well as limiting
environmental protests of timber sales. This bill is still in
the Senate and hopefully will continue moving forward.
Again, my relationship with our congressional leaders is a key
element in this continuous effort.
Since taking office in 2013, there have been numerous positive
changes in county government, but there is still more to be
With the continued improved relationships between the city of
Klamath Falls and Klamath County, the opportunity still exists
for consolidating some of our common services. This includes,
but is not limited to consolidation of Planning and Building
departments which would create consistent standards and
eliminate duplicated services, in turn saving citizen costs and
precious tax dollars.
Klamath County has to stay involved in the water issues as long
as it can be done in a legal manner. The citizens of the Klamath
Basin, Congress and I as a county commissioner, continue to say
“no” to Klamath dam removal.
Any water settlement, to be viable, requires major water storage
components, affordable power, certainty of water deliveries and
protection from the Endangered Species Act and the Biological
Opinion. So far the settlement agreements to date have failed to
deliver what is required.
The critical need for a balanced water settlement is undeniable.
The economic future of the entire Klamath Basin is at stake.
I will continue to stand up for the rights of Klamath County
citizens. I am the only candidate in this race that has the
courage, integrity, commitment and qualifications to effectively
fulfill the office of Klamath County Commissioner, Position 1.
Please view my web site, vote2016tom.com or my Facebook page for
more detailed information.
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